October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and Carryou Ministry decided, in addition to their normal health screening programmes, they would make a contribution to cancer awareness and early treatment.
"We wanted to make people aware of the disease and also to offer support to those affected by it," says Mzi Tshikitsha, Carryou Ministry Health Programmes Manager. "We are not normally involved in cancer awareness but, as it is Cancer Awareness month, we wanted to celebrate with survivors and provide education to people at risk."
Gazebos were set up in the parking-lot of a busy, downtown shopping centre last Friday, and the awareness campaign got into full swing, with counselors and health advisers on hand.
"We mostly provided education and people who believed they may be at risk were referred to local health clinics for further investigation and treatment," says Mzi. "Women who went through the process, were given a pink scarf and educational material and could avail themselves to the other screening facilities we had available. But we did not want to leave out the men. They were offered a number of tests, including high blood pressure, HIV and sugar diabetes.
"In all, 121 people made use of our services that day," says Mzi. "I am sure some lives were saved, as cancer is often treatable if detected early. Early detection is vital."